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Monday, November 15, 2010

IDIA Lab launches IDIA in Blue Mars!

--Jasmine Spearing, Marketing Associate

Too often history is lost and forgotten, and with it the potential for future generations to learn from the past. The Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts, or IDIA Lab, wants to not only recover the lost artifacts of history, but also to recreate exact digital replicas of them in their original environments, allowing us to experience and appreciate them in a way which has not been possible until now.

Blue Mars will be the home of IDIA Lab’s new City called IDIA, which features artifacts and art works that were recreated meticulously using 3D laser scanning (check out Hamlet's blog on laser scanning here). What’s even more impressive is that all of the items can be experienced in their original environments, which were built with the guidance of art historians to ensure authenticity.

So, now you can experience the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition in all its original glory and visit an exact replica of a Japanese temple complete with Buddha statues in their original historical contexts.

IDIA Lab is a collaborative research and design laboratory exploring the intersections between art, science and technology, and IDIA in Blue Mars was created by a collaborative team of IDIA faculty, staff, students and external partners. IDIA Lab Director John Fillwalk explains, “IDIA Lab is an academic research and hybrid design lab – we offer curriculum through other academic units such as Architecture, Art and Music. We work closely with graduate and undergraduate students in those areas in providing them experiential learning and research opportunities connected to our projects – some of which are student driven.”

IDIA Lab plans to do more work in Blue Mars in the future. “We have several other initiatives in Blue Mars in development that will launch in the coming months that explore other potential in virtual worlds for understanding and collaboration,” said Fillwalk.

Other future projects will include the launch of an open virtual campus for use by educators interested in engaging Blue Mars as a platform for learning, virtual interactive and immersive art installations – including hybrid reality approaches which unite the physical and virtual, and in designing robust connectivity and integration with other information and media sets.

Check out IDIA now in Blue Mars! For more information on IDIA Lab, visit

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